Just past the quarter mark of the season and the grueling NHL schedule is beginning to take its toll. Some big names, including Jonathan Quick, Steven Stamkos, Pavel Datsyuk, Zach Parise, Pekka Rinne, Marian Gaborik, Joffrey Lupul, Dennis Wideman and Alex Semin, all find themselves missing time due to various injuries. And although it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest that you can find someone on waivers who is capable of matching these players’ production, there are a couple of options out there that might be on the waiver wire in deep leagues who could be worth a look to fill the void in their absence.
Tom Gilbert, FLA D – Gilbert doesn’t seem to get much respect. He was a compliance buyout by the Minnesota Wild after last season and made the Panthers roster after a tryout and signed a one-year deal worth $900,000. He’s been quietly effective on one of the league’s worst teams. He averages over 20 minutes per night of ice time, mans the point on the power play, and has put up 8 points in 26 games. Those aren’t jaw-dropping numbers, but he’s also a +3 on a team that’s allowed 28 more goals than they’ve scored. If you’ve got a hole to fill on defence, he might be worth a look.
Nick Bonino, ANA F – The Anaheim Ducks are proving to have a very deep team that can put out three solid scoring lines every night. Although Bonino might not instill fear in the hearts of his opponents like Getzlaf or Perry, he’s currently fourth on the team in scoring 7 goals and 16 points. He’s also managed this production with limited ice time.
Andrew Shaw, CHI F – The Blackhawks power play is one of the best in the league and one of the unlikely inclusions on the top unit this season has been Andrew Shaw. Although Kane, Toews, and Sharp get all the attention, you’re not likely to find them hovering around the waiver wire. Shaw, however, may be available. He has 7 goals and 15 points this season with 5 points on the power play. Although he’s a checker playing 5-on-5, his value gets a boost by having seen over an hour’s worth of power play time so far this season.
Eric Gelinas, NJ D – At just 22 years old Gelinas wasn’t even on the fantasy radar going into this season, but he’s quickly making a name for himself. He’s posted a very respectable 2 goals and 9 points in 16 games with 7 of those points coming on the power play. His stock is rising quickly as he begins to see more ice time.
Frederick Andersen, ANA G – It appears as though Viktor Fasth is back on IR and the Ducks have recalled Andersen once again from Norfolk of the AHL. He was stellar before being sent down winning 5 of 6 starts and had a save percentage over .940. With the Ducks playing as well as they are he’s good bet as long as he gets the start. With the amount of talent at the goalie position in Anaheim there has also been talk about the Ducks trading Jonas Hiller, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, in exchange for other assets. So, there could be a promotion headed Andersen’s way. Monitor the situation closely.